Finland's Neste misses first-quarter earnings estimates, warns of market volatility

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FILE PHOTO: General view of Neste's oil refinery, with a total refining capacity of about 13.5 million tonnes per year, in Porvoo

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finland's Neste on Friday posted weaker than expected first-quarter operating earnings and said forecasting both biofuels and oil sales margins will continue to be difficult owing to market volatility.

"Our sales volume for renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel...was clearly lower than in the corresponding period last year, impacted by the fire in the Rotterdam refinery in late 2022," Chief Executive Matti Lehmus said in a statement.

The oil refiner and biofuels producer's January-March earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell to 463 million euros ($509.9 million) from 916 million euros last year.

Analysts had on average expected an EBITDA of 805.9 million mean estimate of nine analysts polled by Refinitiv.

The renewables comparable sales margin rose 20.7% to $945 per ton from a year ago but Neste said it expects it to decline to $800-900 in the second quarter.

($1 = 0.9081 euros)

(Reporting by Essi Lehto; Editing by David Goodman and Terje Solsvik)